Due to the coronavirus pandemic rather than face-to-face interviews you will interview your respondents online through Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, or another platform. Part of the assignment is to observe while interviewing; take note of the interview setting and interactions during the interview. You can still take note of verbal and nonverbal communication while conducting your interview online.
This assignment should take you the greater part of the term to complete since you will be incorporating practical applications, critical thinking skills and writing skills into a demonstration of your knowledge and understanding of some of the key concepts of sociology.
You will submit a formally written paper of 4-5 pages in length describing and analyzing the functioning of a family. You will study marital/family interaction by personally interviewing and observing the members of a specific family of your own choosing. This will not include your immediate family, however. You will develop a set of interview questions prior to the interview (minimum of 15 questions). Your interview questions will be worth 10 of the 60 points.
You can interview any type of family, including a nuclear family, single parent family, childfree couple, foster family, cohabitating couple, etc. You can interview anyone except your own family of orientation, meaning the family into which you were born, or your family of procreation, meaning the family a person forms by marrying or having or adopting children. In other words, you cannot interview your parents or your spouse/partner. You can interview anyone else, including your grandparents (unless they have raised you), your brother or sister’s family, or other family or friend’s family members. Also, this assignment should be based on the respondents’ own family they created through marriage, partnering, and/or parenting. For example, if you choose to interview your friend’s family, and if your friend doesn’t have their own family, you must interview the people who raised your friend, not your friend. Contact me if you need clarification about this.
You will analyze the data that you collect using concepts covered in this course, including class discussion and text material. For each description of an event, offer an interpretation of the meaning of the event using various sociological concepts. At least fifteen course concepts from diverse sections of the textbook should be applied throughout the paper.
Do not write this paper in first person; in other words, do not refer to yourself in the context of the paper (do not say “I” or “my,” etc.). This paper should be completely objective; do not refer to your experiences and do not state your opinion in this paper.
Also, do not include your interview questions in the context of the paper. You are to include the list of your 15 interview questions as a separate page at the end of your paper (worth 10 of the 60 points total). I will see the answers to your questions as you write about the family you interviewed. For example, I do not want to see, “I asked the family who is primarily responsible for the household chores… and they said…” Instead you would say, “Mrs. Smith is primarily responsible for the household chores…”
Assure your respondents they are not required to provide their names in order for this assignment. In your paper, use fictional names for each family member. Additionally, assure them that you will not discuss their responses outside of your paper, which will solely be used to fulfill a course requirement. The Instructor is also bound by the same ethical obligation to maintain confidentiality of the identities of the respondents and the issues raised by your interviews.
- Explanation about the type of family interviewed (for example, traditional nuclear family, single parent family, stepfamily, etc.).
- Description and interpretation of setting and interactions. Observe while interviewing. As you are interviewing, also notice the setting and the nonverbal communication during the interview.
- Include factors such as gender, age, race, ethnicity, and social class, and how such statuses influence family dynamics.
- Include open- and close-ended questions. Respondents’ answers to open ended questions may raise additional information and questions for you.
- This project is considered an academic paper, therefore the explanations must be written in formal language (no slang, and limit contractions, such as can’t, don’t, won’t).
- Do not write this paper in first person; in other words, do not refer to yourself in the context of the paper. This paper should be completely objective. You are welcome to discuss your work in progress anytime prior to submission.
The following is the format in which the project will be organized:
- Completed papers should be 4-5 pages (not including your interview questions), typed in black ink, 12-point font, double-spaced, with 1” margins. This paper must be written in a standard academic font (Times New Roman or Cambria).
- Pages must be numbered
- Introduce your paper with a sociological issue that is evident in this family. In other words, open with a central theme about this family (for example, a traditional family, single parent family, stepfamily, etc.)
- Conclude your paper with an overall explanation of the family’s functioning.
- Include your interview questions at the end of your paper, as a separate page.
- The body of your paper should include at least 10 course concepts. The main thing I am looking for is how well you apply and explain the various course concepts throughout the paper.
- You should apply SPECIFIC sociological terms and theoretical concepts, which should be typed in bold font or underlined. By the time this assignment is due you will have read many chapters. I expect that you will be able to section out specific examples of different sociological phenomena and label it appropriately. I also expect you to expand on explanations of each sociological concept. Explanations of course concepts must be in your own words.
- IMPORTANT: Answers must be completely in your own words. Do not copy definitions from the textbook or other source to explain the course concepts. Points will be deducted if explanations are copied from the textbook or other sources.
- Grammar, spelling, and format are important. Be sure to use your spell/grammar check and proof read your work.
Suggestion: It always helps to have a second pair of eyes view your work. You may want to have another person read your paper prior to turning it in. Excessive spelling/grammatical errors will result in a reduction of points.
- Late papers will not be accepted. No exceptions!
- Any deviations from this format will result in points being deducted from the assignment grade.
- Your grade will be determined by how successful you are in following the specified instructions, and especially in addressing and expanding upon each of the sociological concepts. Show me that you understand the course material.